small-business-blog-300x297Organizing client files the past few days, I found a summary sheet I sent to a client some time ago — a summary guide to blogging I gave them as part of a content marketing project. Below is that guide.

I redacted the guide to protect client information and am posting it here because I think you may find it valuable as a reference. Again, it’s a summary guide I provided on the back-end of hours of consulting and conversations within a content marketing project, but believe even the summary as a standalone document may serve some of you.

Enjoy!

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Blog Tone and Style

Be conversational in your blog posts – think email, not article. First person is good. Use informal language and limit craft terms to those the target reader commonly understands. Don’t labor over the editorial process.

Include some behind-the-scene information: company party, new process, newsworthy stuff about staff, etc. Let people know your company is human.

Link to other sites when referencing something of value – company name, product, etc. Don’t over-link a post, but don’t hesitate to link to something the target reader may be interested in as a reference. This includes links to previous posts on your site.

There is no ideal post length. Some announcements or showcases may only require a sentence or two; others may be a few hundred words.

Pictures are preferred for every post – the exception being posts merely pointing to other content.

Blog Topics

Following is a tool of sort for generating blog post ideas. Match one item from each of the categories to create a blog post. For example: End-user—Tip—Share your experience.

Audience

IT Executive
IT Staff
End-user
Business Unit Leadership
Customer profile
CxO

Content

Industry news
Announcement
Special offer
Product review
Company News
Showcase
Tip/How-to

Action

Visit
Inquire
Vote
Share experience
Review
Subscribe
Join list
Offer opinion

Keywords

Following are keywords to integrate into your blog posts. We’ll monitor the performance of each keyword over time and tweak as necessary:

  • [keyword #1]
  • [keyword #2]
  • [keyword #3]
  • [keyword #4]

Keyword Notes

Combine words such as [keyword #1 and keyword#2] to separate [company] from [market segments].
Integrate words with the base keywords: [keyword #1 ], [keyword #2], [keyword #3], etc. Example: [keyword #1 ] [keyword #3] [keyword #4]
[keyword #1 ], [keyword #2] and [keyword #3] should be referenced in combination with [product x].

Mention locations by name – [City #1], [City #2], etc. when referencing clients, conferences, webinars, and other events. Example: [City #1] based blah, blah, blah.

Tags

Tag each post with a limited number of tags. The tags serve as organization for the blog. Here are suggested tags to begin with, we’ll add more over time:

  • [tag #1]
  • [tag #2]
  • [tag #3]
  • [tag #4]

Blog Post Reminders

For each blog post:

  • Select the Blog category (right sidebar)
  • Add tags (right sidebar)
  • Close with a call to action – see Blog Topics above.

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